Maryland Lesson and Classroom Resources
Are you looking for fun children's books, printable worksheets and lapbook pages, and YouTube video clips for teaching and/or learning about Maryland? Whether you're a school teacher, homeschooling parent, involved parent, librarian, lifelong learner, or a student searching for ideas and books on Maryland, look no further! This is part of a series of pages I created while teaching about the fifty states. You can find the links for my pages for each of the 50 states at Teaching the 50 States of America .
Have You Visited Maryland Yet?
What Makes This State Special: Chincoteague Horses
Assateague Island is a popular vacation destination for watching the wild Assateague horses that still roam the island. Interestingly, the horses are known as Assateague horses in Maryland and known as Chincoteague ponies in Virginia. They were made famous after Marguerite Henry wrote a series of chapter books about them, starting with Misty of Chincoteague. Every year many tourists gather for the annual "Pony Penning Day" during which the fire department rounds up some of the horses
What Makes This State Special: Fort McHenry
It was following the bombardment of Fort McHenry in Baltimore Harbor during the War of 1812 that Francis Scott Key penned The Star Spangled Banner. Later Fort McHenry was garrisoned by Union troops during the War Between the States/Civil War and served as a prison throughout the war. Today the fort is a National Monument and offers visitors historical reenactments, ranger talks, and drill, musket, and artillery demonstrations.
The Battle of Fort McHenry, through Francis Scott Key's Eyes
What Makes This State Special: Chesapeake Bay Blue Crabs
Maryland is a major producer of seafood, especially famous for its Chesapeake Bay blue crabs and soft clams. The blue crabs have been an important food item for those living in Maryland since the early 1600's. While blue crabs are caught along other coasts, the commercial fisheries have historically centered on the Chesapeake Bay. The blue crab is Maryland's official state crustacean.
What Makes This State Special: America's First Cathedral
The Basilica of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary is the first Roman Catholic cathedral built in the US, reflecting Maryland's Catholic roots. Benjamin Henry Latrobe, called the "Father of American Architecture", constructed the cathedral between 1806-1821. (He is the same architect who constructed the U.S. Capitol.)
Maryland's State Flag and State Quarter
Maryland's state flag consists of the heraldic banner of George Calvert, Lord Baltimore, the founder of the colony of Maryland. The Calvert line had the black and gold coat of arms. His mother came from the Crossland line, which had the red and white coat of arms design. As a bit of trivia, it is one of only 4 state flags that does not contain blue.
Maryland's state quarter features the dome of the Maryland State House and two branches from the state tree, the white oak.
Our Favorite Children's Books on Maryland
Our Favorite Picture Book on Maryland
This is my favorite series on individual states. Each page has a simple rhyme concerning the word starts with that letter and then includes a bit more about that particular regional animal, location, etc. It provides a wonderful overview of what makes each state unique. Both modern and historical aspects of the state are includes. Plus, the illustrations are beautiful!
Our Favorite Picture Books on Chesapeake Bay
Chadwick the Crab by Priscilla Cummings is part of a nice series about a blue crab, who originally lived in the Chesapeake Bay, ends up at the Baltimore Aquarium. Other Chesapeake Animal friends, such as an oyster, egret, and sea gull, are also included. Other titles from the series include "Chadwick and the Garplegrungen," "Meet Chadwick and His Chesapeake Bay Friends," "Chadwick's Wedding," and others. Dancing on the Sand: A Story of an Atlantic Blue Crab - a Smithsonian Oceanic Collection Book by Kathleen M. Hollenbeck is an excellent picture book about the life of an Atlantic Blue Crab. It has appealing illustrations that are realistic looking and uses a story format to cover the main aspects of the crab including its predators, eating habits, etc. We also enjoyed the picture books Chesapeake Bay Walk by David Owen Bell, Sam: The Tale of a Chesapeake Bay Rockfish by Kristina Henry, and Awesome Chesapeake: A Kid's Guide to the Bay by David Owen Bell.
More Great Picture Books on Maryland
While a Tree Grew: The Story of Maryland's Wye Oak by Elaine Rice Bachman is a neat story about the history of Maryland, as it occurred around the Wye Oak tree that would eventually be used to create the governor's desk. My Chincoteague Pony by Susan Jeffers is about a young girl who dreams of purchasing a horse from Chincoteague Island. After working hard, she finally earns enough money to purchase one, though she is outbid when the day of the auction arrives. A twist in the plot might allow for her to return home with a new pony. The Sand Lady: An Ocean City Maryland Tale by Corinne M. Litzenberg takes place in Ocean City, MD in the early twentieth century. It describes a young girl's vacation there as she visits the hotels, has ice cream at the Sugar Bowl, a carousel ride at Trimper's Luna Park, and more. Waterman's Child by Barbara Mitchell follows the many generations of a girl who lives on Tilghman Island in Chesapeake Bay. As the generations pass, it becomes increasingly difficult for them to make a living from the sea. Goliath: Hero of the Great Baltimore Fire (True Stories) by Claudia Friddell is based on the true account of the heroic fire horse who pulled the fire engine during the 1904 Baltimore fire. Goliath is buried at Stoneleigh Villa in Towson, MD. Perry's Baltimore Adventure: A Bird's-Eye View of Charm City by Peter E. Dans is about two peregrine falcons who raise a family on the ledge of a Baltimore skyscraper. They take their family on a tour of the city and visit some of the main sites including Fort McHenry, Camden Yards, etc. They also include some famous Baltimoreans such as Edgar Allan Poe, Johns Hopkins, etc. and even touches on old Baltimore traditions. Peregrine falcons are included because they began nesting in Baltimore in the 1980s after nearly going extinct in America. Miracle Max...Missing in Maryland! by Lisa B. C. O'Connell is the cute story of a German shepherd who explores Maryland after she discovers her owners are gone for the day. It is a longer picture book (70 pages). Aunt Flossie's Hats (And Crab Cakes Later) by Elizabeth F. Howard is about two girls visiting their great-great-aunt Flossie in Baltimore and enjoy their aunt's tea and crab cakes. They then go through her hats, and she includes a bit of Maryland history for each one, including the Baltimore fire of 1904 to a WWI parade, etc. By the Dawn's Early Light: The Story of the Star-Spangled Banner by Steven Kroll includes some history of the War of 1812 and explains how Francis Scott Key wrote the famous poem that eventually became our National Anthem. How to Draw Maryland's Sights and Symbols (A Kid's Guide to Drawing America) by Jenny Deinard is part of a wonderful series that combines state geography with art. Each page contains something about the state (a state artist, the state flag, bird, tree, capitol building, areas of interest, and animals.) A photograph will be included along with a brief explanation about that item. Then the page opposite of that includes step by step directions on how to draw that symbol or site. Even my 6 year old is able to follow the drawing directions, and I've been amazed at how well my 9 year old has been drawing each of the state flags as he follows the instructions in the book. Alfred Visits Maryland by Elizabeth Oneill is part of a cute series that follows Alfred the Elephant as he visits the main sites of the state.
Best Books for Preschoolers, Toddlers, and/or Babies
Good Night Maryland (Good Night Our World) Board book by Adam Gamble has appealing illustrations and a sentence per page as two children say goodnight to the main sites of Maryland, including Chesapeake Bay, Ocean City, the Maryland zoo, etc. 123 Baltimore: A Cool Counting Book (Cool Counting Books) Board book by Puck counts from 1 to 10 using landmarks and features from Baltimore including pink flamingos, blue crabs, etc. The Story of 'The Star-Spangled Banner' by Patricia A. Pingry is a nice board book giving a simple history of "The Star-Spangled Banner." Chesapeake ABC by Priscilla Cummings and Chesapeake 1-2-3 by the same author are both simple picture books (rather than board books). They go through the alphabet and numbers as they highlight what is important about the Chesapeake Bay region.
Our Favorite Chapter Book Related to Maryland
(176 pages) is based on the true story of a family who purchases a wild mare and her colt from Assateague Island on Pony Penning Day. It not only talks about the present day horses but also includes the history of how they got on the island. This is a Newbery Honor Book. My horse-loving daughter read this book and loved it!
More Chapter Books Related to Maryland
Amelia's War by Ann Rinaldi (272 pages) is based on a true event from the Civil War/War Between the States that takes place in Hagerstown, MD. It is about an 11 year old girl who tries to remain neutral during the war. The Fox Hunt Mystery by Carolyn Keene (160 pages) is part of the Nancy Drew series. In this book Nancy visits a friend in Maryland for a fox hunt. Meanwhile, her friend's stable is sabotaged and Nancy's horse is stolen. Nancy Drew must solve the mystery. A Little Maid of Maryland by Alice Curtis (192 pages) takes place in Maryland in 1774 and tells the story of a young girl who is mistaken for a Tory spy. Oyster Moon by Margaret Meacham (112 pages) takes place in Maryland in the late 19th century and is about fourteen year old twins. The brother works on an oyster dredge. His sister discovers he is in grave danger and seeks to save him.
Our Favorite Free Worksheets and Lapbook Pages on Maryland
We found these to be helpful when creating a notebook and lapbook on Maryland
All About Maryland provides great links to printable worksheets and child-friendly links related to Maryland and its state symbols. It is a great option if you would like to do an internet-based research project on Maryland.
Maryland for Teachers includes wonderful printable worksheets, activity ideas, and book suggestions.
Lapbook for "Aunt Flossie's Hats and Crab Cakes Later" includes free lapbook pages and activity ideas for "Aunt Flossie's Hats and Crab Cakes Later" by Elizabeth Fitzgerald Howard. Also look for the free lapbook at the same webpage that is based on "Hog Music" by M.C. Helldorfer, which also includes some information related to Maryland.
Maryland State Facts & Trivia lists numerous points of interest about Maryland. The site also includes a number of helpful worksheets, links, and information.
Good Family-Friendly Video Clips Giving an Overview of the State
Our Favorite Video on Maryland: History Channel's Documentary on States: Maryland starts at 31:26.
Good Overview of Ocean City
Good Overview of Baltimore
Where is Annapolis, the capital of Maryland?
© 2012 Shannon